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Thread: Need advice: 5000+ systems needing to be upgraded from XP to Windows 7

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Rockets34Life, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Rockets34Life

    Rockets34Life Bit Poster

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    Hello everyone! After struggling for 9 months in my current b.s job I'm in, I finally landed a new IT position!

    I was doing help desk/desktop support/PC tech garbage (actually more help desk - conned by employer into this position), but this role I accepted (currently going through background check), it's more of a long-term roll-out. I'm kind of a go-to lead setting up policies/procedures/scheduling to upgrade 5000+ desktops/laptops from Windows XP to Windows 7.

    I actually kind of do the heavy lifting of upgrading XP to 7 machines in my current crap job, but the new company told me I'm actually going to be doing the coordinating part of it. My current position, we tell the users (and this is the company's process and procedure) that for an upgrade, it will take 24-48 hours depending on how much data they have. Same process - backing up data, wiping HD, upgrading to 7 with company image, restoring data and applications, but we back up their data to an external HD instead of a network share. And the users do not get a loaner. I can implement that in this new position.

    The new company told me the turnaround time is going to be 4 hours (backing up data, wiping HD, upgrading to 7 with company image, restoring data and applications). The 4 hours are broken down in 2 days (3pm-5pm 1st day and 8am-10am 2nd day). The data is being backed up and pulled down from a network share. The new company wants to do about 30-40 laptops a day.

    I know the toughest parts of the position are the (a) scheduling with end users on doing the upgrade and (b) getting the laptop out of their deathly grips and out of their comfort bubble.

    Any ideas, tips, advice to help a fellow CertForums brother out with this new position?
     
  2. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Sounds awesome Rockets34Life,

    Have you considered MDT2010 8) That will do the upgrade and send the old profile settings back across. If you set it up correctly, it has a very nice automation...if you **** it up, you'll be sitting by the keyboard every 10 minutes.

    In addition, perhaps you could discuss working later and getting it done in one day (taking time off later of course).
    1. It shows a bit of enthusiasm,
    2. you won't disturb the user so much,
    3. you'll feel better not coming in to do half a job - especially if something happens overnight/next morning which causes you to either not arrive, or be late to work


    Good Luck!
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  3. Rockets34Life

    Rockets34Life Bit Poster

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    Thanks Boffy for the reply.

    I've never used MDT 2010. I guess I will have to look into that further for maybe a better flow of the process the new company wants. I haven't started with them yet, so we will see.

    I would love to work past my time, but I've asked them to flex my schedule so I can come in earlier and leave early so I can fight traffic to pick up my daughter from daycare. My wife and daycare will kill me if I don't pick her up before the cut off time.
     
  4. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Fair enough, you've got the motivation to get it done in the morning!

    In regards to MDT, take a look - all the information can be found on the MS/technet website.
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  5. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Is there currently any software in place such as SCCM? or will you be doing everything from scratch?
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  6. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I take it the image has been created for you already? If so it really depends how much testing has been done with the image which can determine how easy the deployment is. For example print servers need to have Windows 7 print drivers etc.

    You will probably be booting the laptops\desktops from a PXE NIC and then pulling down the image that way. If the image has been created properly then you will only have to put in the machine name and then add to the domain.

    Planning is key. It would be handy if you knew what software is installed on the PCs before you wipe them. Chances are there may be some software that does not need to be migrated therefore you need to get a list of applications included in the image and then what additional applications are permitted.

    For example a user may have iTunes on their laptop – do you have to spend time migrating this?

    Again in the planning phase try and target a batch of PCs\Laptops that have a similar build. You may have a few machines that just have Windows\Office\AV and adobe reader so that should be quick turnaround to get them migrated to Windows 7.

    In regard to user data try and get an understanding to where this might be located. In projects I have done before like this the users all had roaming profiles so that helped when it came to migrating data as it was all located on the server while the machine was being wiped.

    There may be some machines that are not being used (e.g. for training or spares) so image them first with the new build. That means you can swap a PC around (if it is the same hardware build) and all you need to do is move the data from one machine to the other. At the end of the day image the PCs you have swapped over in one so you are ready for the next day.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  7. techmonkey

    techmonkey New Member

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    I would suggest using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) to capture and modify the image using the tools it includes like imagex and dism. Both take about an hour or two to learn to use in the manner you need, then deploy the image using the Windows Distribution Service (WDS) on a server if you have that available or have the permissions to give a server that role. Then simply upload the boot image and installation image that you've captured from a reference machine that contains all the programs, updates, and drivers you need (or several images from several machines based on how many different sets of programs and drivers on different machines you have) and set the scopes on the WDS server to the groups of machines you have to the image they need. Then, if your NIC's are PXE capable, set the machines to boot from the network and the image will be pulled down automatically. To make things even simpler, you can put an unattended answer file on the WDS server in the same directory as the images (make sure to name it autounattend or unattend, otherwise you'll have to do further configuration to get the image to point to the answer file). From there, restore your backups and your done!

    *edit*

    VERY IMPORTANT if you didn't already know. Make sure you sysprep the reference machine before using any tools to capture the image. If you don't, any hardware differences between the reference machine and the clients your imaging will cause the newly imaged machines to have a big friendly BSOD.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+
    WIP: MCTS: Windows 7
  8. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Just a few other notes. If you do go down the WDS route then when running sysprep you need to use the /generalize and /oobe switches when prepping the image.

    Also in the answer file you need the PersistAllDeviceInstalls entry to keep all the device drivers in the image.

    From what you have said it looks like you will be responsible for the deployment of the image and not the actual design\testing phase.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  9. WinOutreach4

    WinOutreach4 New Member

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    MDT will be the best way to achieve your goals for deployment.
    I cannot link you to anything (new users are not allowed) but if you seach the Microsoft site for "solution accelerators" you will find the right place to start. Find the MDT link, and you will be brought to a page with a ton of articles and videos to help you out.
    Also, there is a great video on Channel9 (on the MSDN site) that has a demonstration of upgrading Windows XP to Windows 7 (With Office 2010) and saving and restoring user data in 18 minutes.

    David
    Windows Outreach Team - IT Pro
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012

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